How fast do dawn redwood trees grow


How to Grow and Care for Dawn Redwood

Sequoia trees are the largest trees in the world, typically too big for gardens and landscapes unless you have acres to spare. They were once thought to be extinct until a population was discovered in China in the 1940s, and seeds were brought to the US so populations could be established in the US. Best planted in the fall, you can expect the fast-growing dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), a sequoia tree, to grow about 2 to 3 feet taller every year, quickly evolving into a large tree with a pyramidal shape and base that forms a wide flare. The bark becomes deeply fissured as the tree matures. The feathery, fine-textured needles are opposite with lengths of approximately 1/2 inch. They turn shades of red and brown in autumn before falling; this is one of the few deciduous conifers. The fruit is a 1-inch female oval cone.

Common Name Dawn redwood
Botanical Name Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Family Cupressaceae
Plant Type Tree
Mature Size 75-100 ft. tall, 15-25 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Loamy, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic
Hardiness Zones 4-8 (USDA)
Native Area Asia

Dawn Redwood Care

The most famous members of the family are the coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervires) and the giant sequoia (Sequoiadenron giganteum) of California, but neither are commonly planted for landscape purposes. However, the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) does have a role in landscapes. Although it is too big for most private gardens, it can be a wonderful addition in public parks, as a boulevard tree, and on large estates or farms. It does quite well in damp soils, so it can be a good choice for large rain garden locations.

Given that the dawn redwood has existed for many millions of years, this is a remarkably trouble-free tree. It can be susceptible to frost damage, as it grows until late in the season and may be caught by early chills. Try to find a spot that can offer some shelter from the elements, if possible—especially if you live in the northern end of its hardiness range.

Plant this tree in acidic to neutral soil that stays consistently moist—or where a water source for irrigation is near at hand. Dawn redwood will not do well in dry soil, and it needs full sun to grow its best. Choose a location with plenty of empty space surrounding the tree, as this huge specimen will need the room.

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Light

This redwood needs full sun (at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days) to reach its mature height.

Soil

The dawn redwood does not do well if grown in alkaline or dry soils. If your spot is somewhat alkaline, there are methods to make your soil acidic, though you may need to repeat this treatment often. The difficulty of changing the pH increases if the soil is quite alkaline. 

Water

Ideally, this tree should be planted not far from a water source to make irrigation easier. It can tolerate loamy, waterlogged soil well. Provide at least 1 inch of water weekly to the entire area under the branch canopy, which can be quite large. Large trees will absorb this quickly; water whenever the soil becomes dry to the touch.

Temperature and Humidity

The dawn redwood does well throughout the conditions of USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8 and is especially good where it receives cool humidity.

Fertilizer

This tree generally does not require feeding provided it has been planted with appropriately humusy soil. In more barren soils, apply an iron-rich fertilizer into the soil around the tree once each year. For the amount to use, follow the product label instructions.

Pruning

Dawn redwood naturally forms into a pyramidal shape, so little pruning is needed other than the customary removal of dead, diseased, and damaged branches. When the tree is young, use a long-handled pruner or pruning saw. Make the cuts at a 45-degree angle to the trunk or main branch.

Regularly watch for snow and ice damage to the limbs, as these trees can become very large, and damage can extend to falling branches, obviously a serious hazard. Dawn redwoods will grow quickly and require professional trimming when pruning is necessary.

Propagating Dawn Redwood

Dawn redwood can be propagated from hardwood cuttings. Because the plant is very fast-growing, propagated trees can become contributing landscape specimens within a few years. If you take cuttings in early spring, you will be able to plant the saplings by fall. Here's how:

  1. Fill a 1-gallon nursery container with sand up to within 2 inches of the top.
  2. Run water through the container for five minutes to rinse it thoroughly.
  3. Cut a 6-inch-long shoot from a side branch on the tree with a pruning saw. An ideal cutting will have a stem about 1/4-inch thick. Angle the cut end at 45-degrees, just below a leaf node. Scrape off a segment of bark about 1/2-inch long and 1/4-inch wide near the cut end of the branch but take care not to damage the leaf node.
  4. Coat the cut end and the scraped area with acid rooting powder.
  5. Insert the branch, cut side down, into the pot of sand, burying it to about 1/2 its length.
  6. Place the pot in a sheltered outdoor area and keep the sand constantly moist. Placing the pot on a heated mat may speed up the rooting process.
  7. Test for roots after one month by tugging on the branch to see if roots are holding it in place. It may take two or even three months for anchoring roots to develop.
  8. When roots have developed, transplant the cutting into a 1-gallon nursery container filled with a mixture of equal parts loam, sand, and compost.
  9. Water the plant with 2 inches of water each week for the rest of the season. After the tree drops its foliage in fall, plant it in the garden.

How to Grow Dawn Redwood From Seed

Growing this tree from seed can be tough, as the germination rate is only about 5 percent. If you choose to try it, plant at least 20 seeds in a peat pot, covering them only to about 1/4 inch with soil. They need good light to germinate. Place the pot in a plastic bag for better humidity, keep the soil moist, and keep the pot in a cool area with only indirect light. If the seeds germinate, it will happen in 30 to 40 days. Let the seedling become strong and grow several inches before planting it in the ground.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Japanese beetles and spider mites can cause problems with this tree, but the damage is usually cosmetic and never life-threatening. Some fungal pathogens might try to take hold, but these can be remedied with an appropriate fungicide. The tree might develop canker, especially if it is stressed. If this happens, remove the affected branches as soon as possible.

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Dawn Redwood. ArborDay.org.

8 Fast-Growing Trees for Your Yard

8 Fast-Growing Trees for Your Yard | House Method

By Beth Krietsch

Unlike most trees that may take years to grow, fast-growing trees spread their roots more quickly, allowing them to grow faster. Because fast-growing trees tend to be shade-providing trees, they can increase property value and even create space for a shade garden.

What are fast-growing trees?

Fast-growing trees come in many varieties and tend to grow between 1.5 and 2 feet per year, often reaching a height that’s tall enough to produce substantial shade within six years. Nutritious soil and proper care are crucial for encouraging fast growth and overall health.

Fast-growing trees are often much more weak, brittle, and disease- and pest-prone than their slower-growing relatives and often live for a shorter time period. Some varieties also have roots that spread far and wide, making it difficult to tend to the soil underneath.

Left Sweetgum

Right Ginkgo

8 fast-growing trees

1. Gingko (
Ginkgo biloba)

Ginkgo trees grow between 13 and 24 inches per year and reach higher than 75 feet when fully grown. Easy to care for, ginkgo trees are a fairly popular option among people looking for a shade tree. Though they grow best with full or partial sun and well-drained soil, they’re intolerant to extreme dryness or drought.

Growing zones: 3–8

2. Sweetgum (
Liquidambar styraciflua)

Drought tolerant and fast growing, sweetgum is native to the southeastern United States and can reach upwards of 75 feet tall. With full sun and moist, well-drained soil, sweetgum can grow between 12 and 24 inches each year. Note that they do require a lot of space for root expansion and development.

Growing zones: 5–9

Leftt River birch

Right Paper birch

3. Dawn Redwood (
Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Dawn Redwood trees grow at an extremely fast rate, often exceeding the growth of two feet per year. These fast-growing trees can reach between 90 and 100 feet tall. One Dawn Redwood tree is known to have grown to a height of 120 feet in just 30 years. Dawn Redwoods prefers moist soil and full sunlight but can grow in a range of conditions, tolerating both drought and minimal flooding. They’re resistant to heat and pests.

Growing zones: 5–8

4. Paper birch (
Betula papyrifera)

With bark similar to a thick piece of paper, paper birch trees can grow up to 75 feet tall. They flourish in areas with partial or full sunlight and usually grow somewhere between 13 and 24 inches per year. Depending on the region, these fast-growing trees usually live between 30 and 100 years, with hotter regions contributing to shorter lifespans.

Growing zones: 2–7

5. River birch (
Betula nigra)

River birch trees can grow up to 50 feet tall. Highly drought tolerant, these trees prefer partial or full sunlight and wet soil, often growing in wetland regions and along riverbanks. They are more short-lived in hot, southern regions.

Growing zones: 3–9

6. Zelkova
(Zelkova serrata)

Zelkova trees are part of the elm family and usually grow to be 50 to 60 feet tall, with some reaching as high as 80 feet. Most Zelkova trees grow at a rate of about 13 to 24 inches per year. They prefer full sunlight, don’t require much maintenance, and are resistant to disease and lawn pests.

Growing zones: 5–8

7. Eastern white pine (
Pinus strobus)

White pines are fast-growing evergreens that grow between 50 and 80 feet tall. Some will grow up to three feet each year, with the quickest growth occurring in areas with full sunlight. Avoid planting these fast-growing trees in moist or wetland conditions, as they grow best in dry soil.

Growing zones: 3–7

8. Weeping willow (
Salix babylonica)

Weeping willows are a popular tree for their long, lush branches and drooping leaves. They grow at an exceedingly fast pace, sometimes up to eight or 10 feet per year, and can reach up to 70 feet tall. Their height, unique shape, and beauty make weeping willows a particularly wonderful shade tree.

Growing zones: 6–9

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Thanks to global warming, giant sequoias will be able to grow in Siberia

An international group of scientists led by Konstantin Krutovsky, professor at the University of Göttingen and the Siberian Federal University, is experimentally studying the genome and transcript of one of the oldest trees on our planet, the sequoia, and its ability to adapt to the climatic conditions of modern Western Europe. The results of the study are published in the prestigious international journal Springer Nature. It is reported that SibFU bioinformaticians took part in the work.

Sequoias already grow in some warm and humid areas of Europe, and thanks to global warming, such areas are becoming more and more. Despite this, sequoias occasionally suffer from sub-zero temperatures, and the objective of this project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, is to select hardy sequoia clones and study the genetic mechanisms of their resistance.

These trees belong to the unique genus Sequoia, consisting of a single species of Sequoia sempervirens, formed about 300 million years ago and flourished during the time of the dinosaurs. As gigantic as the ancient lizards, but, unlike them, surviving and preserved to our time in an almost unchanged form, these trees are living fossils that once occupied vast territories. Sequoias hold several biological records - they are one of the largest (weighing over 1 thousand tons), tall (over 100 m) and long-lived (over 2 thousand years) organisms.

According to the authors of the study, the sequoia grows rapidly, has high-quality wood and has unique adaptive features - it has a thick bark that reliably protects the tree from fires, and a high ability for vegetative growth (new ones grow from the roots and stumps of felled, fallen and dead trees). trees). In addition, the sequoia is also capable of clonal reproduction, which makes it easy to multiply valuable sequoia genotypes and clones from the point of view of the forest industry. The needles of the “living fossil” are able to condense moisture during the morning and night foggy hours and even absorb it from the air, which helps sequoias survive in drought. This tree can be called ideal for the timber industry, if not for one nuance - the warmth and moisture-loving sequoia! It is these features that have prevented, until today, the wide spread of plantations outside the area of ​​\u200b\u200bnatural growth of the tree - the Pacific coast of the United States.

“Sequoia is the most amazing tree on earth. If you have ever visited the untouched forests, located in a narrow strip along the northern coast of California, where these fabulous giants grow, you will never forget the magical feeling of what you saw. Having moved to Germany in 2012, I was surprised to find here sequoias not only in arboretums. Why, then, in some regions of Germany, this tree feels comfortable and grows even in open ground? After all, winters in this country are quite cold. Thus, the idea arose to study the genetic mechanisms of adaptation of sequoia to more severe living conditions. The project was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Agriculture, which is interested in the plantation cultivation of sequoia in Western Europe for the needs of the forest industry” , - reported Konstantin Krutovsky .

To test whether sequoias can adapt to harsher environments than California, scientists conducted an experiment to grow them in laboratory climate chambers that simulate winter temperature, light, and humidity in parts of Germany. The experiment showed that it is possible to select special cold-resistant sequoia genotypes that are promising for cultivation in Europe.

“By sequencing total RNA, we studied the differential expression (transformation of hereditary information into RNA and then protein) of the genes of different sequoia clones under the influence of low temperatures, using automatic programmable climate chambers in which temperature, light and humidity can be controlled. It was an imitation of winter conditions in Germany" ,” the scientist continued.

Researchers have completed the critical task of obtaining a sequoia reference transcriptome - assembling it from hundreds of millions of sequenced RNA fragments and functional annotation.

“Given the size and complexity of the transcriptome of the hexaploid sequoia, whose genome has “sixed” in the process of evolution, this is a colossal bioinformatics task that can only be solved with the help of a supercomputer. At the SFU Center for High Performance Computing, under the guidance of Dmitry Kuzmin, Head of the Department of High Performance Computing, we were able to assemble a transcriptome from more than 600,000 unique transcripts representing a genome-wide analysis of the expression of several hundred thousand sequoia genes, and thus contributed to an international study” , - said the co-author of the publication, an employee of the center Vadim Sharov .

According to experts, the experiment showed that due to global warming, more and more areas in Europe and possibly even in Russia can become suitable for growing redwoods, especially if frost-resistant clones can be selected.

“I would venture a little scientific prediction. If climate warming proceeds as modern climatologists and forest industry experts predict, we will one day be able to see relic sequoias even in Siberia. Based on the data we have, geneticists may well be able to select appropriate sequoia clones that will be able to successfully survive in the softening Siberian winter and hot summer. , - summed up Konstantin Krutovsky .

Everything you need to know about the magnificent sequoia tree

Sequoias are massive trees.

The Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is also known as the Sierra Sequoia or simply the big tree. This term is often used by John Muir.

Sequoia is the only surviving species of the genus Sequoiadendron. There are only three species of conifers, along with the coast sequoia and the dawn sequoia, known as sequoia, which belongs to the family Cupressaceae, subfamily Sequoioideae.

The commonly used name, sequoia, usually refers to Sequoiadendron giganteum. This tree is found naturally in groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. Fulmore Grove Lake is home to seven giant sequoias, the tallest of which reaches 66 feet (20 m). The grove is located approximately 175 miles (282 km) southeast of Deer Creek Grove, the southernmost natural giant sequoia grove. The US Forest Service has planted huge sequoias throughout southern California.

It would take six individuals stretched from head to toe to match the width of a Sherman tree. Giant sequoias know how to fill the space. The tallest tree in the world and the tallest living thing is a giant sequoia called General Sherman's tree. He is over 2000 years old. Giant sequoias are extremely resilient and are among the toughest trees in the world.

Giant Sequoia National Monument

These old giants have seen logging and rebirth, popular use and devotion, human conquest and legitimate patronage.

At the turn of the century, widespread logging led the public to demand its preservation. This demand is met by three national forests, three national parks and several government holdings. In April 2000, President William Jefferson Clinton established the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Approximately 13 groves are located in Hume Lake Ranger County, California at the northern end of the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks also maintain sequoia groves, using similar methods to conserve them. The General Grant Tree, the second largest tree in the world, is located in the Grant Grove area of ​​Kings Canyon National Park.

About 73 groves are scattered on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Around the green meadow, there is a 1.6 km circle with educational exhibits on the natural history of giant sequoias. You can explore the many trails in this region for a long walk.

Threats to giant sequoias

Giant sequoias are one of the oldest trees in the world. A massive sequoia tree can live up to 3,000 years.

However, the IUCN lists the giant sequoia tree as critically endangered and there are fewer than 80,000 trees left. It is expected that another 13-19% of the population died in the castle fire in 2020 and the KNP & Windy Fire complex in 2021. Other firefighting, drought and global warming events since the previous assessment mean these trees became an endangered species in 2011.

Most giant sequoias do not reach a height of more than 300 feet (91.44 m). The largest sequoia is 379 feet (115.5 m) high! Giant sequoias are widely known as the largest trees in the world. The girth of a large sequoia is what properly distinguishes it from a giant. Giant sequoias have thick skin. Their bark can grow up to 3 feet (0.9m) in thickness!

Giant sequoias are protected. Giant sequoias were originally cut down, but this process was abandoned over a century ago due to the brittleness of the tree's wood. A U.S. federal court has ruled that the Bush administration's divisive plan to allow commercial logging at Giant Sequoia National Monument was illegal.

Giant sequoias and drought

The giant sequoia, called the Sherman Tree, is the largest tree in the National Forest System and one of the largest trees in the world. The giant sequoia appears to require moderate winter temperatures and somewhat cool summer temperatures for optimal development outside of its natural environment. You can plant a sequoia if you live in a temperate climate zone, but this tree is not suitable for small urban gardens.

Although several giant sequoia groves have been cut down, the wood is more brittle than other sequoias. The wood is of lower quality, which has played a role in saving the giant sequoias from extinction. The thick bark makes this tree largely resistant to fire, as well as to fungal rot and woodworms. Low heat promotes tree reproduction by opening the seed cones.

Walking at the foot of huge sequoia trees can damage them because they need well-drained soil. Walking compacts the dirt around their shallow roots and prevents these trees from getting enough water. These trees usually require large amounts of water to stay healthy, especially in summer.

However, the big sequoia is usually able to defend itself against natural disasters, which allows it to survive for years. Droughts will undoubtedly negatively affect this tree.

Giant sequoias and fire

Forest fires that burn every 5-10 years naturally deplete the redwoods. Attempts to mimic the removal of natural vegetation, primarily through controlled fires, are even credited with preserving the historic Giant Forest.

A climate change-driven fire in the Sequoia National Forest in August 2021 endangered sequoia trees in the state. When fires raged in California's world-famous Sequoia National Park, firefighters dug fire lines to prevent the fire from spreading further into the Giant Forest and wrapped ancient trees in fireproof blankets. Officials were concerned that the fire would spread quickly and threaten the Giant Forest, a grove of some of the largest trees in the world.

Despite their enormous size and fire resistance, giant sequoias are currently endangered due to a combination of firefighting, which produces very deadly flames, and drought and climate change. Many people have also died as a result of these conditions in large fires in recent decades. Prescribed fires to reduce the available fuel load can be critical to their survival. Experts say the huge sequoia trees are extremely fire resistant and have evolved to withstand fires.

Some people believe that fire benefits the giant sequoia trees by stimulating their growth and allowing young trees to regenerate.


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